We offer periodontal therapy at Cedar Walk Dentistry for our patient’s convenience. This vital aspect of oral health is critical to helping our patients with gum disease keep their teeth. Find out more about this type of oral health care and when you may need it.
Periodontal therapy includes several treatment options for correcting gum disease. Whether you need this specialty care depends on the results of your gum exam.
At any dental appointment, the dentist will look over your gums. If you have gum disease, you’ll need that problem treated first. Your dentist cannot do any restorative treatment on your teeth if you have existing gum disease. For teeth to stay healthy, they need healthy gums to support them.
Periodontal disease stems from plaque and tartar around your gums. The goal of periodontal therapy is removing these bacteria-harboring elements from around your gums. Getting rid of the germs helps to stop the infection.
Both surgical and non-surgical types of periodontal therapy exist, and your dentist will decide which treatment you need to help restore your gums. Deeper infections in your gums will more likely require surgical treatments to remove.
Gum disease starts subtly from plaque growth on the teeth and around the gums. Typically, you can remove this plaque with good brushing and flossing habits. However, if you skip brushing and flossing for a few days, plaque hardens into unremovable tartar. Only a professional dental cleaning can get tartar off your teeth. Your toothbrush isn’t capable of the task. Plaque and tartar cause problems because they hold bacteria close to the teeth and gums, leading to dental decay or gum disease.
Periodontal therapy treats gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. The degree of severity of the condition determines the type of treatment needed. Therefore, those with milder forms of gum disease may only need non-surgical scaling and root planing.
However, people who have very advanced periodontal disease may need surgery to help them keep their teeth.
Gum disease has two main phases: gingivitis and periodontitis. Both need professional treatment to correct.
Gingivitis typically causes only mild, painless inflammation of the gums. During this early stage of gum disease, you may only notice a reddening in your gums and some bleeding when you brush or floss.
Naturally, bleeding when you floss may happen if you haven’t flossed in a while. However, as your gums strengthen from regular flossing, the bleeding stops. When you have gingivitis, bleeding can happen with either flossing or brushing. Unlike bleeding caused by gums not accustomed to flossing, gingivitis bleeding often does not go away.
Luckily, periodontal therapy can stop and reverse gingivitis before progressing to periodontitis.
The next phase of gum disease after gingivitis is periodontitis. This condition happens when bacteria that initially caused the gums to inflame migrate below the gumline and affect the deeper portions of the gums.
Periodontitis is the more severe form of gum disease. During this phase, the bacteria under the gumline can lead to a chain reaction that causes bone and tissue loss. Your dentist may notice pockets around the bases of your teeth where the gums pull away and loosen the teeth.
Without treatment, bone loss and gum recession can result in permanent tooth loss.
Treatment for gum disease is essential for stopping the forward progression of the condition. If you leave gingivitis alone and don’t have special periodontal therapy to correct it, it will progress to periodontitis, which causes pain and eventual tooth loss.
Gum disease will not resolve itself. It needs intervention through periodontal therapy. This treatment removes the bacteria from around the gums that brushing and flossing at home cannot reach.
Additionally, your dentist cannot treat you for dental problems until you have your gum disease treated. Consequently, if you have gum disease and tooth problems, both will continue to worsen until you have periodontal care.
Therefore, when your dentist says you need gum disease treatment, get it done as soon as possible to avoid tooth loss from decay or worsening periodontal disease.
Gum disease does not always cause pain. In fact, you could have it and not realize it, but if you are 30 or older, you need to be extra careful in keeping up with regular dental exams and cleanings to screen for gum disease. Older adults have a greater chance of developing this condition, which affects up to 2 out of every 5 Americans over 30.
As periodontal disease progresses, you will likely start to notice some signs and symptoms that you have the condition. If you experience any of the following, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible:
Only your dentist can diagnose whether you have gum disease and need treatment. While the above signs can indicate gum disease, you may have another problem causing them. The only way to find out the proper treatment is by visiting your dentist for an exam.
While the direct cause of gum disease is bacteria, several things can increase your risk of this condition. The following are risk factors that make gum disease more likely for you. If you have any of these, make sure to take extra good care of your teeth and gums and see your dentist at least twice a year.
The more risk factors you have for periodontal disease, the more important regular dental exams and cleanings become for you. Remember that tartar can lead to gum disease, and only professional dental cleanings can remove tartar. Talk to your dentist to see if your risk factors mean that you need more frequent dental cleanings than twice a year.
Gum disease treatment falls into non-surgical interventions and surgical treatments. Your dentist will choose the right treatment to help correct your level of gum disease.
Dentists will typically use the most conservative methods to effectively treat your gum disease. You may have a non-surgical intervention if you have gingivitis or a mild or moderate level of periodontitis.
The most basic form of non-surgical treatment for gum disease is known as deep cleaning or scaling and root planing. This type of care cleans the areas of the teeth around the gums to get rid of any built-up tartar and plaque that promote gum disease. By deeply cleaning your teeth, the dentist removes the bacteria causing gum redness and inflammation.
Another form of non-surgical care for when you have gum disease that causes pockets is antibiotic treatment. Instead of prescribing an antibiotic pill for you to take, the dentist directly administers the antibiotic Arestin to your gum pockets. This treatment works exceptionally well when done after scaling and root planing to remove bacteria. The Arestin slowly releases medicine over time into the gum pockets for long–term prevention of future infections.
In severe cases of periodontitis, in which you have deep pockets around your teeth or loose teeth, you may need surgery. Pocket reduction surgery reduces the sizes of the gum pockets around your teeth and makes keeping your teeth and gums clean easier.
Remember, if you need surgery to restore your oral health from gum disease, your dentist recommends it to keep you from losing teeth. Plus, you cannot get any other dental services until you’ve had treatment for your gum disease. Don’t put off scheduling your periodontal therapy.
At Cedar Walk Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer a wide selection of services for our patients. We can provide you and your family with regular checkups and cleanings. If you have gum disease, we also offer periodontal therapy to treat it.
Do you think that you may have gum disease? The first step is to have an appointment with a dentist who can spot and treat your periodontal issues. Because we offer periodontal therapy and many other dental services at Cedar Walk Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we can serve almost all of your family’s oral health needs. Call us today to set up a time for a visit. We’re looking forward to seeing you.